Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 556

    February Session, 2018

Substitute Senate Bill No. 521

Senate, April 17, 2018

The Committee on Judiciary reported through SEN. DOYLE of the 9th Dist. and SEN. KISSEL of the 7th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 18-81l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) The Department of Correction shall (1) require each applicant for a position that will involve direct contact with inmates to state whether such person has ever been convicted of a crime or whether criminal charges are pending against such person at the time of such person's application, and (2) require each applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks. The criminal history records checks required pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with section 29-17a.

(b) The Department of Correction shall require each applicant for a position with the department to submit to a preemployment psychological examination. Such examination shall be administered to the applicant after all other portions of the department's employment testing and selection process have been completed and prior to any offer of employment being made to the applicant. The Commissioner of Correction shall determine the appropriate preemployment psychological examination to be used by the department in its hiring process. Any cost associated with the administration of the preemployment psychological examination shall be borne by the applicant.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 18-87k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) The Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission shall: (1) Develop and recommend policies for preventing prison and jail overcrowding; (2) examine the impact of statutory provisions and current administrative policies on prison and jail overcrowding and recommend legislation to the Governor and the General Assembly; (3) research and gather relevant statistical data and other information concerning the impact of efforts to prevent prison and jail overcrowding and make such information available to criminal justice agencies and members of the General Assembly; (4) advise the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division on policies and procedures to promote more effective and cohesive state criminal justice and juvenile justice systems and to develop and implement the offender reentry strategy as provided in section 18-81w; (5) monitor developments throughout the state's criminal justice system and, not later than February 15, 2009, and annually thereafter, report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the state's reentry strategy, outcomes achieved under the reentry strategy and the level of integration and coordination of the information technology systems used by the criminal justice agencies and other system-wide issues identified by the commission; (6) not later than February 15, 2009, and annually thereafter, sponsor for all members of the criminal justice community a full-day review of the criminal justice system in the state including progress that has been made within the past year and challenges to be met, which review shall be facilitated by the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division; (7) identify specific needs for reentry services in geographic areas throughout the state; (8) identify institution-based and community-based programs and services that effectively address offender needs and reduce recidivism including, but not limited to, education and training, employment preparation and job bank, transitional health care, family support, substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual offender programs and services; (9) develop a guide to best practices in the provision of reentry services; (10) develop and annually update a plan to ensure the availability of reentry services, which plan may include establishment of community reentry centers; [and] (11) assist the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division in developing the recommendations included in the report and presentation made by the division pursuant to section 4-68p; and (12) administer the First Chance Trust Fund established pursuant to section 3 of this act.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) (a) There is established a fund to be known as the "First Chance Trust Fund" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing fund. The fund shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the fund. Moneys in the fund shall be expended by the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission for the purpose of providing grants to evidence-based programs that benefit at-risk youth residing in any distressed municipality, as defined in section 32-9p of the general statutes.

(b) The Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission may (1) accept, on behalf of the fund, (A) private donations, (B) any bequest or gift of personal property and may hold and use such property for the purposes specified in such bequest or gift, and (C) any moneys received by a state agency from the withholding imposed on state contracts pursuant to section 4 of this act; and (2) apply for federal, state, private and nonprofit foundation funding to further the purposes of the fund.

(c) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of this section.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) (a) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, in consultation with the Commissioners of Correction and Administrative Services and the State Contracting Standards Board, shall develop a mechanism that permits a state agency to assess a one per cent withholding on any state contract, (1) as defined in section 4e-1 of the general statutes, other than a state contract with a nonprofit agency, (2) entered into, modified or renewed, on or after July 1, 2018, and (3) which has a total contract price exceeding one million dollars. Moneys withheld through the mechanism established pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited in the "First Chance Trust Fund" established pursuant to section 3 of this act by the state agency assessing the one per cent withholding.

(b) In carrying out the duties prescribed in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary shall solicit and consider feedback from contractors, as defined in section 4e-1 of the general statutes, concerning limitations on the types of contracts that shall be subject to the withholding described in subsection (a) of this section. The secretary may offer recommendations on additional statutory or regulatory changes that are needed, if any, to effectuate the provisions of this section.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) The Commissioner of Correction shall, within available appropriations, establish a wellness initiative for the benefit of employees of the Department of Correction who interact with inmates at correctional facilities. The wellness initiative shall include the following components: An employee assistance program, a peer support program, stress management training, critical incident stress response, military peer support, an employee safety and health committee, periodic wellness fairs and other programs that have a demonstrated effectiveness in addressing the needs of employees who interact with inmates. The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, may apply for federal, state or private nonprofit funding to support and advance the objectives of the wellness initiative.

Sec. 6. Section 18-98f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Not later than January 1, [2016] 2019, and quarterly thereafter, the [Commissioner of Correction, after consultation with the] Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management, after consultation with the Commissioner of Correction, shall, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, report to the General Assembly details about earned risk reduction credits awarded to reduce an inmate's sentence pursuant to section 18-98e, as amended by this act. Such report shall include: (1) The number of inmates released overall and the number of inmates released early as a result of the award of such credit; (2) the crimes for which such released inmates were convicted; (3) the amount of risk reduction credit earned by inmates released early pursuant to such credit; and (4) any recidivism data regarding inmates who were released early pursuant to such credit, including any data such as rate of reentry into the correctional system, elapsed time between release and such reentry, and the crimes for which such inmates were convicted that resulted in such reentry. Not later than thirty days after submission of the report to the General Assembly, said commissioner shall post the report on the Department of Correction's Internet web site.

Sec. 7. Subsection (e) of section 18-98e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(e) Prior to release of any inmate whose sentence is being reduced due to risk reduction credits earned pursuant to this section, the [warden of the correctional facility from which such inmate is to be released] commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall review such inmate's records and verify that the inmate earned the risk reduction credits being applied to reduce such inmate's sentence.

Sec. 8. Subsection (b) of section 18-88 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) The commissioner shall approve the establishment and maintenance of any and all such industrial activities, [including] which may include, but need not be limited to, an optical shop to produce prescription eyeglasses for inmates of correctional institutions, for persons under state care in other institutions and for other persons receiving or eligible to receive benefits under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, provided such optical shop is under the direct supervision of an optician licensed under chapter 381, and provided further such eyeglasses are prescribed by an optometrist licensed under chapter 380, and are fitted by such licensed optometrist or by an optician licensed under chapter 381, after considering and determining the extent, if any, to which each industry may compete with private industry and, as far as possible, shall encourage a diversified program. If [said] the optical shop is unable to fill the prescription for such eyeglasses for any reason, within the two-week period from its receipt of such prescription, [said] the shop shall notify the person who prescribed such eyeglasses within ten days after receipt of such prescription.

Sec. 9. Subsection (f) of section 18-88 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(f) Any political subdivision of the state or federal government, [or] any private nonprofit entity, including one which receives all or part of its revenues from any political subdivision of the state or federal government or any benefit corporation created under chapter 604, may purchase any articles, materials or products required by it which are produced or manufactured by the institution industries, and any person may purchase products and by-products of farming operations in accordance with section 53-329. The commissioner may promulgate and circulate at sufficiently frequent intervals for distribution to the Commissioner of Administrative Services, the Comptroller and such political subdivisions a catalog showing styles, designs, sizes and varieties of all articles, materials and products manufactured and produced at the institutions and periodical price lists for all such articles.

Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 18-85 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) Compensation so earned shall be deposited, under the direction of the Commissioner of Correction, in an account in a savings bank or state bank and trust company in this state or an account administered by the State Treasurer. Any compensation so earned shall be paid to the inmate on the inmate's release from incarceration, except that the commissioner may, while the inmate is in custody, disburse any compensation earned by such inmate in accordance with the following priorities: (1) Federal taxes due; (2) restitution or payment of compensation to a crime victim ordered by any court of competent jurisdiction; (3) payment of a civil judgment rendered in favor of a crime victim by any court of competent jurisdiction; (4) victims compensation through the criminal injuries account administered by the Office of Victim Services; (5) state taxes due; (6) support of the inmate's dependents, if any; (7) the inmate's necessary travel expense to and from work and other incidental expenses; (8) [deposits credited to the inmate's discharge savings account under section 18-84a; (9)] costs of such inmate's incarceration under section 18-85a, as amended by this act, and regulations adopted in accordance with said section; and [(10)] (9) payment to the clerk of the court in which an inmate, confined in a correctional facility only for payment of a fine, was convicted, such portion of such compensation as is necessary to pay such fine. Any interest that accrues shall be credited to any institutional fund established for the welfare of inmates. Compensation under this section shall be in addition to any compensation received or credited under section 18-50.

Sec. 11. Subsection (b) of section 18-85a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) The state shall have a claim against each inmate for the costs of such inmate's incarceration under this section, and regulations adopted in accordance with this section, for which the state has not been reimbursed. Any property owned by such inmate may be used to satisfy such claim, except property that is: (1) Exempt pursuant to section 52-352b or 52-352d, except as provided in subsection (b) of section 52-321a; (2) subject to the provisions of section 54-218; (3) acquired by such inmate after the inmate is released from incarceration, but not including property so acquired that is subject to the provisions of section 18-85b, 18-85c or 52-367c, and except as provided in subsection (b) of section 52-321a; or (4) acquired by such inmate for work performed during incarceration as part of a program designated or defined in regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Correction, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, as a job training, skill development or career opportunity or enhancement program, other than a pilot program established pursuant to section 18-90b, as amended by this act, except that the commissioner may assess a fee for participation in any such program. [; or (5) credited to a discharge savings account pursuant to section 18-84a, not in excess of one thousand dollars.] In addition to other remedies available at law, the Attorney General, on request of the Commissioner of Correction, may bring an action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such claim, provided no such action shall be brought but within two years from the date the inmate is released from incarceration or, if the inmate dies while in the custody of the commissioner, within two years from the date of the inmate's death, except that such limitation period shall not apply if such property was fraudulently concealed from the state.

Sec. 12. Subsection (f) of section 18-90b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(f) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to restore in whole or in part the civil rights of any inmate. No inmate compensated for participation in the program shall be considered to be an employee of the state or exempt from the provisions of [(1) section 18-84a, or (2)] section 18-85a, as amended by this act, and regulations adopted in accordance with said section.

Sec. 13. Subsection (b) of section 18-101 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) On granting privileges to any inmate under section 18-100, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall disburse any compensation earned by such inmate in accordance with the following priorities: (1) Federal taxes due; (2) restitution or payment of compensation to a crime victim ordered by any court of competent jurisdiction; (3) payment of a civil judgment rendered in favor of a crime victim by any court of competent jurisdiction; (4) victims compensation through the criminal injuries account administered by the Office of Victim Services; (5) state taxes due; (6) support of such inmate's dependents, if any; (7) such inmate's necessary travel expense to and from work and other incidental expenses; and (8) [deposits credited to the inmate's discharge savings account under section 18-84a; and (9)] costs of such inmate's incarceration under section 18-85a, as amended by this act, and regulations adopted in accordance with said section. The commissioner shall pay any balance remaining to such inmate upon the inmate's release from incarceration. [including any amount credited to a discharge savings account pursuant to section 18-84a.] Each inmate gainfully self-employed shall pay to the commissioner the costs of such inmate's incarceration under section 18-85a, as amended by this act, and regulations adopted in accordance with said section, and on default in payment thereof the inmate's participation under section 18-100 shall be revoked.

Sec. 14. Section 18-84a of the general statutes is repealed. (Effective October 1, 2018)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

18-81l

Sec. 2

July 1, 2018

18-87k(a)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 4

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 5

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2018

18-98f

Sec. 7

October 1, 2018

18-98e(e)

Sec. 8

October 1, 2018

18-88(b)

Sec. 9

October 1, 2018

18-88(f)

Sec. 10

October 1, 2018

18-85(b)

Sec. 11

October 1, 2018

18-85a(b)

Sec. 12

October 1, 2018

18-90b(f)

Sec. 13

October 1, 2018

18-101(b)

Sec. 14

October 1, 2018

Repealer section

JUD

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Admin. Serv., Dept.

GF - Cost

46,721

46,721

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Cost

16,974

16,974

Correction, Dept.

GF - Cost

1,000

1,000

Correction, Dept.

GF - Potential Minimal Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

This bill makes various changes to the statutes governing the Department of Correction (DOC) and results in a cost to the state.

Section 1 requires any applicant to the DOC to submit a pre-employment psychological examination and results in no cost to the state due to the applicant paying any associated fees.

Sections 2-4 and 6 establish the First Chance Trust Fund, a non-lapsing fund administered by the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission (CJPAC). The bill specifies that the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) develop a mechanism that allows any state agency to assess a 1% withholding on certain state contracts, and to deposit any revenue generated from the withholding into the First Chance Trust Fund. It then requires CJPAC to use that revenue to provide grants for programs for at-risk youth in distressed municipalities.

It is anticipated that DAS would need to hire a Processing Technician to process any 1% contract withholdings. The annualized cost for a Processing Technician is anticipated to be about $63,695 ($46,721 for salary and $16,974 for fringe benefits).

The 1% withholding on certain contracts results in the vendor not being paid 100%. It is anticipated that certain vendors may increase their bids to cover for the 1% withholding. To the extent that agencies choose to assess the 1% withholding, this could increase contract costs, which could be significant.

The bill makes a change to the risk reduction credits report and results in no fiscal impact to the state.

Section 5 requires the Commissioner of DOC to establish a wellness initiative for the benefit of employees who interact with inmates and results in a cost to the state of $1,000 per year for supplies and materials.

Section 7 makes a procedural change for who reviews an inmates risk reduction credits and results in no fiscal impact to the state.

Section 8 makes a technical change regarding the establishment and maintenance of optical shops and results in no fiscal impact to the state.

Section 9 allows the DOC Correctional Enterprises to sell products to benefit corporations and results in potential minimal revenue gain. There are approximately 120 benefit corporations in Connecticut and based on their business it appears that the Correctional Enterprises will not meet the needs of most of them resulting in a potential minimal revenue gain to the state.

Section 10 eliminates inmate discharge savings accounts and results in no fiscal impact to the state.

Sections 11-14 make conforming changes to statute and result in no fiscal impact to the state.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 521

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION.

SUMMARY

This bill makes various changes in the statutes governing the Department of Correction (DOC). Principally, it:

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018, except the provisions related to the First Chance Trust Fund and wellness initiative are effective July 1, 2018.

2-4 — FIRST CHANCE TRUST FUND

The bill establishes the “First Chance Trust Fund” as a separate nonlapsing fund. CJPAC, which is within the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), must administer the fund and use it to provide grants to evidence-based programs that benefit at-risk youth living in distressed municipalities (see BACKGROUND).

Sources of Funding

The bill permits CJPAC to accept, on the fund's behalf:

The bill also allows CJPAC to apply for federal, state, private, and nonprofit foundation funding to further the fund's purposes.

The bill requires the OPM secretary to adopt regulations in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act to implement these provisions.

Contract Withholding

The bill requires the OPM secretary, in consultation with the DOC and administrative services commissioners and the state contracting standards board, to develop a mechanism that allows a state agency to assess a 1% withholding on any state contract with a total price greater than $1 million that is entered into, modified, or renewed on or after July 1, 2018. The bill exempts contracts with nonprofit agencies that otherwise satisfy the criteria. Any funds withheld through this mechanism must be deposited into the First Chance Trust Fund.

In developing the withholding mechanism, the OPM secretary must solicit and consider feedback from contractors regarding limitations on the types of contracts that would be subject to the withholding. The secretary may offer recommendations on any statutory and regulatory changes needed to effectuate the withholding.

1 — PRE-EMPLOYMENT PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS

Under the bill, DOC must require employment applicants to submit to a pre-employment psychological examination. The exam must be administered to the applicant, at his or her expense, after the department's other employment testing and selection process is complete, but prior to an employment offer. The commissioner must determine the appropriate examination for DOC to use for this purpose.

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires DOC employment applicants to submit to state and national criminal history records checks.

5 — EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM

This bill requires the DOC commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a wellness initiative for department employees who interact with inmates at correctional facilities. The initiative must include the following:

The commissioner or his designee may apply for federal, state, or private nonprofit funding to support and advance the initiative's objectives.

6 — EARNED RISK REDUCTION CREDITS REPORT

Under the bill, beginning by January 1, 2019, CJPAC must report quarterly to the General Assembly, after consulting with the DOC commissioner, on any earned risk reduction credits awarded to reduce an inmate's sentence. Currently, the commissioner is responsible for reporting this information, after consulting with CJPAC. By law, the report includes such things as how many inmates were released early due to receiving credits, the inmates' crimes, the amount of credits received, and recidivism data.

BACKGROUND

Distressed Municipalities

The Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner annually scores and ranks municipalities based on demographic and economic distress criteria and designates the 25 municipalities with the highest scores as distressed (CGS 32-9p). The criteria are based on:

The commissioner can also designate a municipality as distressed for two years if it suffers a major plant closing, relocation, or layoff. A municipality that drops off the list retains the distressed municipality designation for five years, unless it elects to terminate its designation.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

41

Nay

0

(04/03/2018)

TOP

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 36.33% of payroll in FY 19 and FY 20.